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As far as we're concerned, a vintage Heuer Carrera is about as cool a chronograph as you can get, featuring amazing vintage looks, true motorsports pedigree, and a design originally penned by the man himself: Mr. Jack Heuer. The Carrera got its name (in 1963) from the legendary cross-isthmus road race in Mexico, known as La Carrera Panamericana. At least one other noteworthy international brand also borrowed this name for one of their products (hint...it has four wheels and the engine in the back).
Originally, the Carrera was powered by manually winding chronograph movements, but with the advent of the automatic chronograph in 1969 (also pioneered by Heuer), production began shifting towards automatic in a serious way. At that time, a conglomerate of watch brands, headlined by Hamilton, Heuer and Breitling, created an automatic chronograph movement, the likes of which the world had never before seen. The top-secret work conducted at the hands of world-class engineers was dubbed Project 99.
There were three watch groups racing to be the first to release an automatic chronograph in the late 1960s; Zenith, Seiko and the joint Project 99 venture. Ultimately, out of the competition greatness grew. Zenith, the renowned Swiss manufacture, would release its famed El Primero movement that found its way into many watches, including the Rolex Daytona. Seiko, the incredibly innovative Japanese powerhouse, produced their 6139 movement that would later become the first automatic chronograph in space. While the "winner" of this unofficial contest changes depending on who you ask, under the direction of Heuer, Project 99 created some of the era's best looking watches: the Monaco, the Autavia and of course, the Carrera. This particular Carrera model, Reference 1153, is one of the most highly sought after pieces from the early automatic era, before the model swelled in size and lost its characteristic svelte design.
Featuring a brilliant blue sunburst dial with white subsidiary registers and outer tachymetre ring, this example is a stunning beauty, with colorful accents typical of the era. Of particular delight is the inclusion of its original Rice Bead bracelet by legendary strap manufacturer Gay Freres. These go for big bucks all by themselves when they turn up in good condition!
Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm in diameter (excluding crown and pushers). Heuer Reference 1153.
Overall condition: Case is in excellent condition overall, showing only light wear from age and use, with no signs of over-polishing. The dial and hand set are in very good original condition, showing light patination and lume loss, but devoid of any glaring marks or signs of oil seepage. Original pushers, case back and signed crown.
Includes rare Beads of Rice bracelet by Gay Frères, with Heuer signed clasp and "HLC" end links. Also includes two 20mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.